When is the Best Time to Take Calcium Supplements?
Answered by NTA Instructor Caroline Barringer, NTP, CHFS, BRP, CGP
Student Question: I’m confused about when I should take calcium supplements. I read that calcium needs a strong acid in the stomach to be absorbed, but that it should be taken away from meals. I thought that the stomach was acid in the presence of food and alkaline when the stomach is empty?
I could see how this could be confusing, but keep in mind that the stomach is NEVER fully alkaline. It is always acidic, but most acidic during meals. The pH of the stomach outside of meals can be anywhere from 3.0 to 5.0, which is still exponentially more acidic than a pH of 7.0. Calcium will do fine and be well absorbed in a pH of 3.0 or slightly higher.
Calcium can alkalize the stomach environment during meals, so that’s not an ideal time to take it. Calcium can also bind to other nutrients, not allowing them to be free for use by the body. Taking a calcium supplement away from meals is fine, especially an ionized Ca supplement like Ca-Zyme by Bi otics. It’s in a chelated (usable) form and goes right into the body that way.
When you start learning the Loweburg’s Calcium Tissue test on the Functional Evaluation, you’ll be able to ask the body’s innate intelligence if it even needs calcium. If not, innate will indicate that it needs a co-factor to help the body better utilize this precious mineral.
I hope this clears things up for you. This is a common question, but as long as you keep in mind that the stomach always has some acidity to it, you’ll know that this is enough acidity to fully utilize minerals like Ca when taken away from food.
About the Instructor:
Caroline Barringer, NTP, CHFS, BRP, CGP is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Master Certified Healing Foods Specialist, Birth Renaissance Practitioner, Certified GAPS™ Practitioner, author, international lecturer, Weston A. Price Chapter Leader, Founder & CEO of Immunitrition, Inc.®, and current Founder and CEO of Freeway Foodies, Inc.®. She is also the creator of the “Certified Healing Foods Specialist (CHFS)” Training Program, a food intensive course taught nationwide that focuses on properly prepared, whole food cuisine and probiotic nutrition.
Caroline has been in clinical practice since 2001, specializing in Preconception Preparation through therapeutic nutritional support and gentle detoxification protocols. Her success rate is nearly 80 percent in helping couples to conceive.
Caroline strongly believes in the NTA’s “Foundations and Priority” based, bio-individual, functional approach to nutrition. She is committed to educating professionals and students alike, empowering them to safely and effectively transition their clients from a state of functional weakness to optimal health through Nutritional Therapy.